What my first name is may be deduced from the names of my blogs – Sue’s considered trifles and Sue’s Trifles. Sue is short for Susan, which is the Hebrew word for lily. This translation is given in various compilations of what were always called Christian names and are now forenames or, as in this Daily Prompt, first names. Mine really is a Christian name as I was officially named as a baby in a baptismal service at the same church where I was later to be confirmed and married.
I was not named after anyone. I found out much later that one of my great-grandfathers had a second wife called Susan. My great-grandmother had died and he had married again. (In those days life was more precarious and divorce almost unheard of.) My Mum had known this earlier Susan and I was definitely not named after her!
My parents’ choice of names was dictated by how well the name went with our surname and to avoid any obvious words spelled out by intial letters. I was only given one Christian name. My Mum had survived long enough with only one herself and did not have a long list of names she liked enough to give her children.
I have never had any problems with my Christian name. I accepted it as my name. I was equally happy to be called Sue or Susan, although Su-san or Susan followed by my surname, might indicate I was in disgrace.
I could not bear to be called Sukey as in the nursery rhyme Polly put the Kettle on.
One friend of my parents always called me that. Children did not answer back when I was young, so I had to put up with it until this friendship ended for reasons I never discovered.
The single most important fact about my Christian name is that it was very popular. When my parents chose it, they were not aware how popular it would be.
At primary school I was in a mixed class of over forty pupils. I remember at least four of us were called Susan as a first name and I know at least one other had it as a middle name. At the Grammar school there were lots of Susans too. There were even two with the same surname! Fortunately for anyone wishing to identify them, they each had a middle name. Lynne and Linda were the next most popular names among my contemporaries.
When I was attending a maternity clinic before my son was born, Susan was still a very usual name among mums-to-be. Every time the name was called out a few people were “on their marks” ready for their appointment, only to settle back down when the wrong surname was added!
My Mum used to be a keen gardener and liked to grow a special plant for each member of the family. Mine was rudbeckia, otherwise known as black-eyed Susan.
I am still meeting more Susans both in real-life and online. Whether we are lilies or black-eyed Susans, I don’t think we are a bad bunch!